Mammie's Spot

I took Oliver with me to the cemetery a few mornings ago. It was early, before the other kids were up and around and starting their morning school work. I woke up that day and right away I started thinking about Anne Marie and missing her. It's an indescribable feeling -- the yearning, the ache, the emptiness, wanting her here. And yet she's not. And I know she's not at the cemetery either, but at times like this I drive there anyway.

And so Ollie and I drove and as we drove he pointed out the window and said, "Snow." The sun was shining bright, but there was still some snow on the ground from the previous day's snowfall. And as we pulled into the cemetery Oliver said, "Mammie's spot." He's a smart one, that boy. "Yes," I said. "Mammie's spot. We're here at Mammie's spot." And then he said, "Mammie's spot, cha cha," because he knows that sometimes when we're at the cemetery we see a choo-choo train go by. And, as it happened, this day there was a train and it was sitting still on the tracks for us to see. We got out and stood there watching it, wondering why it wasn't going anywhere, but enjoying looking at it. And then we went over to "Mammie's spot." I don't know what Oliver thinks about the cemetery. I sometimes wonder if he can make the connection. When we're at home and he sees a picture of Anne Marie he says, "Mammie." I wonder if he pictures her in his mind when we are here at the cemetery.

It was cold this particular day so we only stayed a little while. On our way out we went by the train one more time, still sitting still on the train tracks.  And as we pulled out Oliver said again, "Mammie's spot." There are some days like this that are harder than others, but that little voice saying "Mammie's spot" seem to make it a little better.

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